Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle asked over 35,000 postmenopausal women who did not have a history of breast cancer to complete a 24-page questionnaire about their use of non-vitamin and non-mineral supplements.
After six years of follow-up, 880 cases of breast cancer were identified in the women.
Researchers found that regular use of fish oil supplements, which contain high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, was linked with a 32 percent reduced risk of breast cancer.
The use of other specialty supplements, many of which are commonly taken by women to treat symptoms of menopause, was not associated with breast cancer risk.
This research is the first to demonstrate a link between the use of fish oil supplements and a reduction in breast cancer.
Researchers warn that while further studies are needed before solid recommendations can be made, the study is encouraging, especially fish oil has already been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
The findings were published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
For more information on breast cancer and ways to decrease your risk through a healthy diet, visit the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.